An open letter to Jeremy…

Do you know what it’s like, what it’s like to lose your child, the one person that is dependent on you, and for whom your existence depends on? Do you know what it feels like to wake wondering if by the end of the day the burden of emotions will weigh lighter, not just on your shoulders but on your soul? Do you know what it feels like to know that you will never feel ‘normal’ again? Do you know what it feels like to know that for every step you take, you will never again be complete? The most important piece of my jigsaw, forever missing.

Do you know how hard it is to love someone so fiercely, but to know that love can never be expressed to that person? Do you know what it’s like to be able to look at your children, see their smile, hear their laugh and sooth their tears, I don’t. Do you know what it’s like knowing your child only exists in your memory? Do you know it’s those memories that ensure I lay frozen in the same position, fear, flashbacks and nightmares making you re-live that moment, the moment you tried so hard pump life back into your child. Do you know the determination it takes after 7 hours of that nightmare to get dressed and go to work.

Do you know what it’s like to lose a child to sepsis? Do you know what it’s like to be told, your child should have survived. Do you know how hard it is to live with myself knowing that despite everything I did, I could not protect my child? Do you know what it’s like going to bed every evening knowing that there are millions of other people just like us, who also cannot protect themselves against sepsis, because they do not have the information to do so? Do you know the force it takes for me not to break during every interview? Do you know what it’s like to have to answer questions about your child in the past tense? Do you know the anguish I face to sit in front of the one person in this country that can ensure that other families do not suffer our life sentence, but have little control in the decision. I don’t know what it is like to be in that position, but what I do know is that I don’t want you, or any other parent to have lost their child, or any child to be left without a parent from sepsis.

What you do know is that sepsis affects 150,000 people annually in the UK, what you do know is that of those, 44,000 will die. Every day 120 of those are adults, leaving children behind to grow up without their mummy or daddy, and 4 children whose parents are left in incomprehensible pain. What you do know is that one-third of those deaths are preventable. What you do know is that a large majority if treated sooner, would recover with less life limiting illnesses. What you do know is that “the time has come for sepsis”.

Do you know how hard it is to know those you trusted the most, let you down in a catastrophic way? Do you know that despite this, we somehow channel our grief into a campaign so that others don’t suffer the same debilitating pain that we do? Do you know that at the end of every day we do not blame anyone else but ourselves for somehow failing to keep our child alive? Do you know how many other parents there are out there who have had to say goodbye? Do you know how many children there are growing up without a parent? Do you know what it’s like for their family to tell them that their mummy or daddy won’t be coming home? The frustration I as a parent have to live with, being so close to our end goal but fearing it is so far away. Do you know how hard it is to think that my child’s death wasn’t enough to create change, evolution and a lasting legacy? What will your achilly’s heel be? When will enough be enough? When will you realise that you hold the answers in the palm of your hand, right in front of you. How many more children have to die, how many more mothers and fathers, grandparents and friends have to die before you realise that sepsis does not discriminate. Did you know that thanks to the symptoms being televised during one of my interviews a young mother’s life was saved. Her two week old son will now grow up with his mummy. This is about everyone. Adults, children and sepsis.

This life has been thrust upon me forcibly, in one single moment that took my breath away; and from that moment on every single breath has been a fight. A constant battle against myself. Do you know that I have no strength, no courage, no bravery, nothing but love.

Choice was taken away from me by sepsis; but you still have a choice. A choice and a chance to do the right thing. Please don’t make me continue to fight when I simply don’t have the strength to do so.

You know that we were let down; you know that William was let down with the most tragic circumstances. Don’t let us down again. So many lives depend on your decision. Make it the right one. Stand by your word that “we can raise public awareness of sepsis both in children and adults.”

See you Wednesday.

Melissa

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5 thoughts on “An open letter to Jeremy…

  1. Melissa, I’m sat with tears streaming down my face. You have so beautifully written what I and many others feel. I want to wish you all the best for Wednesday, stay strong for William and Jemma and all others who have sadly been lost to Sepsis. Diane xxx

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  2. How about losing a child that you have spent 37 years with, seen him through the rough and the smooth, watched him struggle through life , nearly die, and then have children of his own, watch and help him to become a fantastic father, a mentor to people suffering from addictions, helping disabled and young adults with learning difficulties, giving away his last few pounds to someone who had t eaten in days, because he put others before himself. Watched him proudly be the father who every man would envy, loved and adored by his children aged 4 and 5. Then because of incompetent doctor and A&E staff, he died suddenly I terrible circumstances because they did not spot or diagnose sepsis. If they had, he would be here now. And finally, how do you think I feel, living with the nightmare in my head, that when I discovered my son, laying dead behind his front door, with his shopping bag in one hand and his key in the other, bent over and his life oozed out from her m onto his floor? I found my son like that, and I have to live with his loss every day, my grandchildren have to live without their dad and his love and guidance, but t when I wrote to the medical council, the local MP, the media, NO ONE was interested. So it seems that only babies get the media attention, does that mean that people like my son are not as important?
    I am raising awareness and supporting the sepsis trust by driving my sons car, as a replica to Lightning McQueen from cars movie, to bring attention to this killer condition, it’s all I can do in his name. But I and my family, had 37 years of memories stolen from us, a very caring young man, dedicated father,and really decent human being. The nightmares are awful, and flashbacks in my head of my son as I found him. Where is our justice?

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    • There is no justice in the loss of a child whether they be a baby or an adult. That’s why we’re pushing so hard to make sure the sepsis campaign includes adults too, not just children. As not only have you lost your child; your grandchildren have lost their daddy and that is wholly unjust.

      We will keep fighting, not just for William but all the other lives lost to sepsis and to hopefully ensure the numbers start to decrease.

      I’m so sorry that you lost your boy and the loss you face for the rest of your life for your grandchildren. Life is so cruel xx

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  3. Melissa, I watched you on the news tonight and you brought me to tears I felt I wanted to say something. As a Nother myself, seeing another Mother in that much pain really affected me. I can’t imagine the grief you and your family have been through. Yet through your tragedy you have given so much of yourself for a worthy cause and your efforts will help thousands of people. I have so much admiration, respect and love for you and all you represent. It’s people like you who leave a mark on me. I will never forget you, your journey and your beautiful son.

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